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A CBP officer was caught lying about how he was actually a Mexican citizen
A former customs officer in Douglas was sentenced last week to one year of probation and fined $1,000 for lying about being a U.S. citizen.
Marco Antonio De la Garza, 38, worked for Customs and Border Protection for six years until he was indicted in March 2018 for falsely stating he was a U.S. citizen, when in fact he was a Mexican citizen, on a CBP background check and on a passport application, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson.
De la Garza was accused initially of lying on a CBP background check in October 2016 and on a passport application he submitted at Cochise County Superior Court in October 2017. The charge related to the background check was dismissed when he pleaded guilty in December to lying on the passport application. He was sentenced March 28.
De la Garza's career at CBP, as well as five years serving in the U.S. Navy on submarines, was made possible by a Texas birth certificate from 1980. He claimed he was born in Brownsville, Texas, rather than his true birthplace of Matamoros, the Mexican city across the international border from Brownsville, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General wrote in a Feb. 22, 2018, criminal complaint.
The midwife who signed his birth certificate was convicted four years later of conspiracy to make false statements on birth certificates, the special agent wrote. Mexican school records showed De la Garza was registered using the Mexican birth record and date of birth, as the Arizona Daily Star reported in March 2018.
"Growing up my parents told me that I was a U.S. citizen and my whole childhood I was led to believe this was true," De la Garza wrote in a Jan. 16 letter to U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins.
Despite objections from his parents, "By the time I was 17 I knew it was time to go live in America and join the U.S. military, it was then that I asked for my birth certificate and my mother told me that I had been lied to my whole life and I was and had been all along, a Mexican citizen," De la Garza wrote.
"I refused to believe that to be the truth and still came to America with my U.S. birth certificate that she had given me," De la Garza wrote.
He received a copy of his birth certificate and Social Security card from Texas officials, which made him believe his parents "had lied to me and tried to deceive me just to keep me from joining the U.S. military," De la Garza wrote.
De la Garza wrote that he jeopardized the United States by leaving open the possibility that he could be extorted as a CBP officer.
"I realize how bad it could have been and how lucky I was to never have been blackmailed or taken advantage of, and for this I am truly very sorry," De la Garza wrote.
De la Garza lived with his mother in Mexico until 1999, when he was 19 years old, according to a sentencing memorandum written by De la Garza's attorney, Matthew Green. He worked for his father's business in Monterrey, Mexico, before moving to Mission, Texas, and then Brownsville.
In 2003, De la Garza enlisted in the Navy and maintained an "exemplary service record" until he was honorably discharged in 2008, Green wrote.
De la Garza has no prior criminal history, Green wrote.
His wife and two children are U.S. citizens. As a veteran, De la Garza can apply for naturalization one year after his conviction.
©2019 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.